Kayaker becomes most successful Kiwi Olympian

By: AFP      Published: 05:43 PM, 5 Aug, 2021
Kayaker becomes most successful Kiwi Olympian
New Zealand's Lisa Carrington competes in a semi-final of the women's kayak single 500m event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Kayaker Lisa Carrington pushed through the pain barrier to win her third gold medal of the Tokyo Games Thursday and become New Zealand's most decorated Olympian.

Carrington's success in the 500-metre single-kayak took her career medal tally at the Olympics to five gold and one bronze over three Games dating back to London 2012.

It puts the 32-year-old above fellow kayaker Ian Ferguson (four gold, one silver) on the all-time list of New Zealand Olympic greats.

"It is really special," said the paddler dubbed "the GOAT in a boat" by New Zealand media.

"Growing up, to be an Olympian was the epitome of who you wanted to be and represented so many good values. For me, it's something I never thought I would be able to do."

Carrington can add to her Games haul when she contests the four-woman 500m on Saturday.

She is undefeated since 2012 in her pet event, the 200m sprint, but said she was forced to "empty the tank" for victory in the 500.

"It hurt a lot but it just means that I gave everything, so I'm really happy," she said.

Carrington, an indigenous New Zealander, earlier this year was named the most influential Maori athlete of the past 30 years.

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